Okay… where was I? Oh yes, the beginning of Saturday morning.
Breakfast wasn’t served until 10:00am on Saturday (I thought I was going to starve!) so Kyle and I took advantage of the extra time and slept in :) Before heading over to breakfast, I enjoyed a birthday bubble bath and opened my gifts from Kyle. He knew exactly what I wanted… Le Creuset cocottes!! I’m super excited to make some gorgeous food in these minis. First on the list is french onion soup when Kyle returns from PR!
After I got over my excitement for my new cooking gadgets (yep, it’s official, I’m old!), we headed over to the mansion for breakfast. They must have known that it was my birthday because they served up some of my favorite breakfast foods - fresh pineapple and strawberries AND stuffed french toast with cinnamon apples. Everything was OMG amazing! I thought it would be tacky to pull out my phone to snap a few photos but seriously you guys, the plating was gorgeous. I would go back there for the breakfast alone! ;)
After breakfast Kyle and I headed to Canal Park – a cute shopping and restaurant area with gorgeous views of Lake Superior. Unfortunately, the windchill was -22 degrees and I couldn’t feel my toes so we did a quick tour of the lake area so I could take a few photos and then hopped back into the car!
To warm up, we did a little shopping – I found a super comfy sweater and some new earrings – and then we stopped at Canal Park Brewing Company – a new brewery + restaurant in Canal Park. The brewery had 8 of their beers on tap so we decided to try a flight of all 8 – Happy Birthday to me! :) Our favorite was the Stoned Surf IPA.
Since the brewery was on the lake, it had amazing views and I can imagine that their patio in the summer is going to be full of tourists and beer enthusiasts alike!
Following a little more shopping and tourist-y things, we headed back for the wine and cheese reception at the mansion. And you guessed it, there was more chess on Saturday afternoon! Kyle told me that I had drastically improved my chess strategies overnight. I think he was just being nice because it was my birthday ;)
After enjoying my weight in cheese (sadly this is not a joke, we didn’t have lunch and I was starving…), we headed to the Minnesota Wine Exchange. Another place on our list for the weekend! The MN Wine Exchange is new and sources only MN wines. Personally, I think they would see an increase in business if they expanded their wine selection to include wines from outside of the state and also included beer on the menu because not everyone (including myself) thinks MN wine is the best. BUT I wanted to try it and was pleasantly surprised. Flights of wine were only $5 and they had a large variety of MN wines. Kyle – the in-house wine snob – even found a few that he wanted to try again!
Then it was time to head to dinner! After reading multiple reviews and looking at a variety of menus, I settled on the New Scenic Cafe. They source local and sustainable foods and had rave reviews online and from our B&B. We had reservations for 7:30pm but they were super busy so we had to wait until 8pm to be seated… hence the sad face.
The owner was very apologetic and brought us out a free appetizer – sushi ahi tuna tacos!! This put a smile back on my face :)
After being seated, we started out with a champagne split and some fondue (more cheese!). For dinner, Kyle ordered the lobster bisque that came with the LARGEST scallop I had ever seen. It was seriously the size of a small steak.
I ordered New Scenic’s pasta special of the evening – butternut squash ravioli. Holy yum. I was already full by the time my entrée arrived but that did not stop me from devouring my entire plate. It was my birthday so calories didn’t count ;)
For dessert, New Scenic provided a complimentary salted-caramel chocolate tart for my birthday! The actual tart was cut out of the photo below (too much champagne, Kyle??) but it was amazing. I am certain I’ve said this before but salted-caramel anything is my new favorite dessert and this was the king of everything caramel since it came with chocolate too!
I forgot to make a wish before blowing out my candle. I guess that is what old age will do to ya! Since we didn’t finish dinner until after 10pm, we just headed back to the B&B for the evening. I think I fell asleep in the car on the way back… I’m apparently 28 going on 85. NBD.
Sunday morning after sleeping in for a second morning in a row (!!) we packed and then enjoyed another delicious breakfast at the mansion – blueberry muffins and eggs benedict. We would have liked to explore more of Duluth since it was actually ABOVE freezing on Sunday but decided to head back to MPLS in the morning due to the ice storm that was hitting later in the day.
Overall it was a really fun and well-planned (Thanks Kyle!) birthday weekend! I can’t wait to visit Duluth again in the summer :)
What is your favorite thing to do when it is your birthday (or birthday week or month ;) )??